The Cheltenham Gold Cup is the climax of four days of top class National Hunt racing at the Cheltenham Festival. A field of sixteen runners are set to go to post for the £625,000 Grade 1 contest over three and a quarter miles.
Key Cheltenham Gold Cup Statistics
- No horse older than ten years of age has won the Cheltenham Gold Cup since Cool Dawn (10) in 1998.
- Eleven of the last twelve winners had at least two previous races that season prior to the Gold Cup. The exception was Nicky Henderson’s Bobs Worth (2013) who only had one previous start, winning the Hennessy Gold Cup the previous November.
- Ten of the last twelve Gold Cup winners had won their previous race.
- The same number had been officially rated 166 or higher going into the race.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips 2019
Native River was clear favourite earlier in the week but the drying ground is a concern for his supporters. The track will certainly suit him much more than Kempton but he has over thirteen lengths to make up on Clan Des Obeaux.
Presenting Percy is the leading fancy from Ireland, the winner of the RSA Chase at the corresponding meeting. He won the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Final here in 2017 so is seeking a hat-trick of Cheltenham Festival victories. He reappeared at Gowran Park to win a Grade 2 hurdle but this will be his first run over fences since the RSA.
The Cheltenham odds for Clan Des Obeaux were slashed after he won the King George on Boxing Day. He cruised up alongside Thistlecrack before being driven out to win by a length and a half. Native River was left trailing 12 lengths back in third place. Paul Nicholls sent Clan Des Obeaux to Ascot next time where he comfortably beat Terrefort in a four-runner race. The acid test for the seven-year-old will be whether he can stay the final quarter of a mile.
Willie Mullins regularly features among Cheltenham horse tips but is yet to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He has trained the runner-up on six occasions and saddles four runners on Friday with Ruby Walsh electing to ride Bellshill. The nine-year-old just got the better of Road To Respect in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
On his previous start, Bellshill had finished nine lengths behind stable companion Kemboy in the Savills Chase. The winner quickly put seven and a half lengths between himself and Monalee that day and is one of the most progressive horses in the line-up.
Al Boum Photo was also a clear-cut winner on his last appearance, beating Total Recall by six lengths at Tramore. He was beaten in third place when falling in the RSA Chase 12 months’ ago. He is yet to win over three miles but would probably have won at Punchestown last April had jockey Paul Townend not chosen to bypass the final fence.
Colin Tizzard has declared Native River, Thistlecrack and Elegant Escape. Thistlecrack has been largely overlooked among Cheltenham tips, presumably because he is now eleven years of age. He is trying to become the oldest winner of the Gold Cup since What A Myth won at the age of 12 in 1969. The statistics may be against him but he has very few miles on the clock and was in front a long way from home at Kempton.
Elegant Escape was soundly beaten by Sizing Tennessee in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury. He showed that stamina was his greatest asset when grinding out a victory in the Welsh Grand National next time. His run behind Frodon in the Cotswold Chase looks better after the winner followed up in the Ryanair Chase this week.
Bristol De Mai showed that he is more than just a soft ground horse when winning the Betfair Chase in November on good ground. Things did not go his way at Kempton where he departed at the ninth fence but he is yet to win here in three races over fences.
CLAN DES OBEAUX can confirm the King George form with those that finished behind him. The going may not be soft enough for Native River and the unorthodox build-up for Presenting Percy could count against him. It is difficult to separate the Mullins’ horses, although Bellshill does look the safest conveyance. Thistlecrack ran a super race at Kempton and he could reward each-way support, despite his advancing years.
Tip: CLAN DES OBEAUX to WIN the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Cheltenham Gold Cup Result 2018
Fifteen horses lined up for the 2018 Gold Cup with Might Bite starting 4-1 favourite to follow up his win in the King George VI Chase at Kempton. He was opposed by Native River who had finished third in the 2017 Gold Cup behind Sizing John. A previous Welsh National winner, many horse racing tipsters felt that Native River would be difficult to beat on the soft ground.
Richard Johnson set out to make all the running and was stalked throughout by Nico de Boinville on Might Bite. The race developed into a thrilling duel. Native River was headed at the second last but battled back bravely and regained the lead, eventually winning by four and a half lengths. Anibale Fly stayed on to finish third with Road To Respect in fourth place.
Cheltenham Gold Cup Winners
The Cheltenham Gold Cup was first run in 1924 when it was won by Red Splash. The great Golden Miller dominated the race between 1932 and 1936 with a record five straight victories. Vincent O’Brien trained Cottage Rake to win the race for three consecutive seasons from 1948 to 1950.
The legendary Arkle was successful in 1964, 1965 and 1966. He was owned by the Duchess of Westminster, trained by Tom Dreaper and ridden by Pat Taaffe. Best Mate (2002 – 2004) emulated the great Irish gelding for Jim Lewis, Henrietta Knight and Jim Culloty.
Dawn Run was one of the hottest Cheltenham tips of the week when winning the Gold Cup in dramatic fashion in 1986. She became the first horse to win both the Champion Hurdle and the Gold Cup. Arguably the most memorable Gold Cup in recent times was in 1989 when Desert Orchid overcame testing conditions to beat Yahoo. Desert Orchid returned to defend his crown the following year but could finish only third to shock 100-1 winner Norton’s Coin.
The Paul Nicholls-trained Kauto Star became the first horse to regain the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He won in 2007 but was beaten by stable companion Denman in 2008. He was one of the most popular Cheltenham bets in 2009 and reversed the form under Ruby Walsh.